EDEN — The Rockingham County Board of Education announced Tuesday morning that John O. "Shawn" Stover III has been hired as the new district superintendent, replacing Rodney Shotwell, who will step down from the post he held for 16 years in June when his contract ends.
Stover will begin work on July 1, the board said in a news release after a special board meeting Tuesday to finalize the hire.
During the search process, the board reviewed applications from a diverse field of 17 candidates from 11 states and territories before choosing Stover, whose career in public education spans more than 30 years in North Carolina and in districts across the nation. Stover currently serves as the instructional superintendent of the District of Columbia Public Schools, where he has also worked as chief of secondary schools.
"The board felt that Mr. Stover’s experience, leadership, and dedication to students and staff would best serve RCS students, employees, and the community for years to come. The board is confident Mr. Stover will lead the school system to even higher achievement,'' the school board said in the release.
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For the past nine years, Stover has played a pivotal role in helping District of Columbia Public Schools become the fastest improving urban school district in the country, the release said.
Before joining the district, Stover spent three years as superintendent and managing director of Uplift Education’s charter school district in Dallas, Texas.
“I am excited to partner with the school board, parents, and the community to build upon the work our dedicated teachers, administrators, and staff have done to create a school system that empowers each child to be a life-long learner, equipped to contribute in a changing, complex society," Stover said in the release.
In addition, Stover previously served as a senior managing director for Teach for America (2007-2010) and as a principal and assistant principal for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (2005-2007), Alamance-Burlington School System (2003-2005), Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (1999-2003), and Roanoke Rapids Graded School District (1997-1999).
Stover began his career in 1990 as a teacher in the Hertford County Schools, where he taught elementary school as well as high school students in an alternative setting. In 1994 he was recognized as the Teacher of the Year for the district.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from UNC-Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in school administration from East Carolina University. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in leadership and organizational innovation from Marymount University.